My three favorite Carpenter games were the 4th game of the 2006 World Series, the fifth game of the Division Series versus the Phillies in 2011, and the 7th game of the 2011 World Series. All really good games were Carp pitched at a high level on the biggest stage in the game.
The recent news also promoted me to take a little bit of time to shuffle back through my Chris Carpenter cards I've been able to pick up since he joined the Cardinals in 2003. He's a pretty tough find for autographs, but I have been fortunate enough to add a few of his cards to my collection over the past decade.
First, a word of warning. There are actually three different Chris Carpenter's that have autographed baseball cards. There is Cris Carpenter who pitched for the Cardinals, Rangers, and Brewers during the late eighties through the mid 90s. Cris Carpenter, spelled Chris Carpenter on the card, has an autograph in the 1996 Leaf Signature Set. There is also Chris Carpenter who pitched for the Cubs and Red Sox the last two years. He has lots of generic Chris Carpenter autographs for Razor products. Then there is the real Chris Carpenter:
1999 Skybox Autographics Chris Carpenter Autograph
Carpenter played during some of the large autograph sets of the 90s and early 2000s, but his only autograph during that time was this 1999 Skybox card. The autograph is on-card which is extremely rare for Carpenter. The overwhelming majority of his cards are sticker autographs. This card is not too difficult to find and will set you back somewhere between $20-$30 depending on where you look.
2007 UD Elements Chris Carpenter Jersey/Autograph
The UD Elements autographs are probably the next easiest Carpenter autograph to find depending on the variation of card. I believe that there are two or three versions of this card with different foil colors and serial numbers. It's a nice card that I have always enjoyed and again, not too difficult to find. The price tag is going to be similar to the Skybox card, but the higher print run of 350, can sometimes drop below $20 on Ebay and Check Out My Cards.
2007 MLB Artifacts Divisional Artifacts Chris Carpenter Jersey/Autograph
The remainder of Carpenter's autographs are very similar. All of them are Upper Deck products, most are from the mid 2000s, and most of them have a low print of 25 or less. There are several that I do not own, but they do not vary much from the last three that I am going to display. Starting with the card pictured above from the 2007 Artifacts set.
2007 UD Ultimate Collection Chris Carpenter Jersey/Autograph
He actually have several cards where he appears with another player, Roy Oswalt is a pretty common one, but I prefer single sighed cards for the most part. Many of the single signed Carpenter cards also are attached to a jersey relic and in most cases you can find the card signed and unsigned.
2009 Upper Deck Piece of History Chris Carpenter Jersey/Autograph
The Upper Deck autographs can be tough to track down especially if you are looking for one specific autograph. If you are looking to add an autograph of a great pitcher and display a little bit of patience you can find any of the Upper Deck issues for around $30. Sometimes the ones on Ebay end up in bidding fights and drift towards $50 or higher. Personally, I am hoping that Carpenter will sign something on card in the future, but if not I have a nice collection going.